"My opinion of Ottawa journalists is that they don't watch hockey at all. When they fly with the team and go through the [metal detector] at an airport, their bags are filled with beer."
- Alexei Kovalev speaking to Sovetsky Sport via Puck Daddy
That is truly one of the funniest things I've ever heard a hockey player say to the press, regardless if it's true or not.
Love him or hate him (and it seems this guy is almost universally loathed in Ottawa – but not by me), you have to give Kovalev some respect for being his own man, no matter what the situation, in a hockey world that generally frowns upon athletes with strong, stubborn personalities.
Seriously, this guy is incredible. His nickname in Montreal was "L'artiste", but some of the players in Ottawa liked to call him "The Most Interesting Man In The World" in tribute to that guy from the Dos Equis beer commercials.
Kovalev flies planes, he moonwalks for the fans, he used to collect Troll dolls, he throws coaches under the bus like they were nothing more than shoeshine boys, he tells the media and the fans to "get out of my head" and now he lays down an "Ottawa reporters are too busy drinking beer to watch the actual game" crack, which is sure to become legendary amongst the pub crawling, wing eating, beer guzzling world of NHL journalists who love nothing more than swapping these kinds of stories during long lonely nights in Buffalo.
On top of that, after telling the Ottawa press he wanted to retire a Montreal Canadien two summers ago, moments after signing with the Senators, he was at it again telling the Russian press that he wants to retire an NHL'er after just signing a two-year deal in the KHL.
You know, apropos of nothing, maybe the real problem with Alexei Yashin is that although he was a pretty good villain in this town, he was always boring. He always said the right thing in the minimum amount of words. In short, he was a robot. An evil, greedy robot who sucked everyones will to live within a 200 km radius of the Ottawa Valley.
But Kovalev isn't a robot. He's got that "too cool for school" vibe thing happening but when he's of the mind, he'll let it all hang out with some of the things he's willing to say. That's what villains are supposed to be like. They need to be more like the Joker, less like the "sweater-vest and smile" Stephen Harper.It's probably no surprise that Kovalev wasn't shy about putting a few more knives in Cory Clouston's back, but perhaps the biggest reveal of the article on Puck Daddy was the Sovetsky Sport interviewer bringing up Sergei Gonchar by saying "I asked Sergei Gonchar what game model Ottawa had. The defenseman could only throw his hands up."
To which Kovalev responds "In two seasons I still couldn't understand the ideas of our coach Cory Clouston."
If it's any consolation to Kovalev and Gonchar, nobody else could either.
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